Sotomayor Also Made “Wise Woman” Comment In 1994 — And Won Key Senate Vote In 1998

June 3, 2009 12:59 pm

Greg Sargent has discovered that Sonia Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” line from 2001 was not the only time Sotomayor said something like that — back in 1994, she also expressed basically the same sentiment in relation to women: “I would hope that a wise woman with the richness of her experience would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.”

So what does this mean?

• Greg thinks that the fact that this was well known at the time of Sotomayor’s confirmation to her current position on the appeals court would certainly seem to undercut the Republicans who are shocked — shocked! — to find out about this now.

• Michael Goldfarb, that great humanitarian from The Weekly Standard, says this really contradicts the White House for saying that Sotomayor would want to rephrase a poor choice of words.• Over at National Review, Ed Whelan poses the hypothesis that the GOP staffers in 1998 simply failed to spot this among the documents they were sorting through — and says the “the strong reaction that Sotomayor’s 2001 comment has elicited renders desperate any suggestion that Republicans are somehow estopped from objecting to it” due to a failure to object in 1998.

• Ben Smith simply wonders, tongue in cheek, whether Sotomayor’s 2001 audience will be “a little peeved that she gave a retread speech.”

It should be noted that the two seemingly different takes on this from Sargent and Goldfarb aren’t mutually exclusive — both the GOP and White House positions look a bit deflated.

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